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The five best fitness apps

16th September 2019 Print

A lot of us would like to be fitter, but summoning up the motivation to exercise can be an uphill struggle. Listening to music, sports content or a podcast from your favourite stand-up can be a good way of making fitness more fun. You might also need a little extra help to keep up your momentum – and this is where fitness apps come in handy. We all respond to different incentives, be they goal setting, friendly competition with friends or a financial incentive. With this in mind, here are our top five fitness apps.

1. Sworkit

If the thought of attending a gym full of skin-tight athleisure wear brings you out in a cold sweat, Sworkit could be the app for you. The app is ideal for home use and workouts vary from 5 to 15 minutes. Choose from Yoga for Runners, 5 Minute Abs and Daily Stretch. Users can select from a variety of fitness plans designed and created by personal trainers. This one’s free for 30 days then you can pay an annual or quarterly subscription.

2. One Your Couch to 5K

Signing yourself up for a 5K run is a great incentive to get fit. Not only can you raise some money for a good cause, but you’ll feel spurred on to get in shape beforehand, especially if you’re doing it with a group of friends. The free One You Couch to 5K app by is an easy-to-follow programme, ideal for those new to running who need support and motivation while they train. It’s been created by Public Health England, a government body responsible for the nation’s health and wellbeing. With five great trainers to support you, including Olympian Michael Johnson and comedian Sarah Millican, this is a great kick-start for new runners.

3. MyFitnessPal

When weight loss is the primary factor in your fitness goals, you need to watch what you’re eating, too. Exercise alone won’t help you ditch those kilos which is where MyFitnessPal can help. This free app helps you track what you’re eating; with an expansive database including more than six million ingredients and dishes, you can count calories and chart your daily progress. It’s not just about calorie counting, though – you can also log daily exercise, cardio and strength training onto the app to ensure your daily calorie intake is in line with your goals. There’s also a website if you prefer to log your stats the old-school way.

4. Strava

One of the best-known fitness apps around, Strava must be doing something right. It’s a good one for those of you who already run, walk or cycle regularly. The app records your activity and then rounds up your stats for the week. It has a collection of road and trail routes to upload from the app to your phone or GPS. This could also be the app for you if you’re the competitive type as the Strava feed lets you compare your progress to followers and friends; this could be just the extra incentive you need.

5. Sweatcoin

If you got paid money to exercise, you’d probably be more likely to stick with it. If this idea resonates with you then consider Sweatcoin, the app that converts your steps into sweatcoins. These are currency units that can be used on real-world goods and experiences. First launched in 2016, this app is zooming up the popularity charts to overtake WhatsApp in both US and UK app stores. It's great for newbies who want to become more active and established fitness buffs who’s resolve is waning.

If any of these apps appeal, you can find them on Google Play Store or App Store. They can really help give you the boost you need to get yourself moving. And because many of them are free, they're a lot cheaper than pricey gym memberships.